With visions of Italy dancing in my head, and just about a week away from stepping back on Italian soil, I can’t help but put an Italian twist on my cooking today. Okay, so I put an Italian spin on a lot of the meals I make, but the Italian in me is especially evident today! (Or as my hubby says “your Italian is showing.”)
Asparagus is plentiful in the markets this time of year, and the spring holidays are around the corner, so it’s easy to pick up a bunch and roast away.
By the way, have you ever seen asparagus grow? It is the oddest vegetable patch ever in my opinion. In case you are interested in growing your own, this website has some good information: How to Grow Asparagus. However, I did visit a local farmer recently who said his asparagus planter box was more expensive and troublesome to grow than it was worth. Check this out….
They really do grow one stalk at a time. I checked out a video I was going to share but it was so complicated I didn’t think anyone (other than a really dedicated farmer with lots of land) would be interested. It’s years-long process to grow mature spears to harvest. OMG! I’ll buy mine from a farmer’s market or grocery store thank you!
So let’s mix up a bunch of asparagus with a few ingredients and roast them Italian style as a quick easy side dish for any meal.
Asparagus and tomatoes are nice complements to each other.
Add pine nuts – yum!
I love garlic added to almost anything. This is a great garlic press that mashes the garlic in seconds.
Drizzle a little olive oil over everything and season with salt and pepper – done!
Roasted to perfection! Garnish with parmesan reggiano and lemon zest if you like.
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1 cup tomatoes (variety of your choice, I used compari), diced
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 cloves of garlic (I like garlic so I used 2)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or more to your taste)
- 1/4 cup parmesan reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
- Grated lemon zest (optional)
- Prep: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking dish with cooking oil.
- Place asparagus, tomatoes and pine nuts in baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil with garlic and pour over asparagus mixture. Toss to coat.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until tender-crisp.
- Remove asparagus from oven. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and finish with sprinkling cheese and lemon zest if desired.